The All-Nighter Survival Guide

The All-Nighter Survival Guide


Before you even arrived at college you may have heard tales from your friends or parents about “pulling an all-nighter”. What does this mean? It’s exactly what it sounds like. Staying up all night to finish school work! It’s not fun or easy, but chances are you’ll have to do it at some point during your college career. So, just like anything else at school, do it well!


Evaluate. Is staying up all night absolutely worth it or  in any way unavoidable? If not, don’t do it. Get done what you can, get some rest, and wake up tomorrow ready to finish it.

Nap. If it is 3pm and you know you have to stay up all night to finish at paper due at 9am, take a nap at 3pm. An hour or two at most. This will give you a little boost. Also, sleep is more invigorating than caffeine. Save the caffeine for later.


Position. Don’t work on your bed or couch! Sit upright, on a chair, at your desk. Do it!

Work. Remove distractions. Work on the hardest portions of your assignment first, while your brain is fresher and clearer. When fatigue hits later in the night, you’ll thank yourself for having left the easier parts for last.

Get up. Move around! Work for 50 minutes then take a 10 minute stretch break. Get out of your chair and do jumping jacks or walk in a few circles. You might feel like a tiger in a cage at the zoo, but you’ll keep your body awake.

Water. Yes, you’ll probably be drinking coffee or Red Bull, but don’t forget the water! A glass of ice cold water every hour will keep you more energized than you think and will also prompt a few bathroom breaks here and there.

No sugar! Stay away from candy and super sugary treats. They’ll give you a spike of energy, but you will crash shortly after and you need stamina for an all-nighter. Stick to protein or veggies to give you sustained energy.


Keep your sleep schedule. Try to go back to your original sleep patterns the very next day! Your body will be confused at first, but force it to sleep again at the same time you always go to bed.

Work out. Engage in some sort of physical activity during the middle of the day after you pull your all-nighter. It will energize your mind and body.

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